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Makara Sankranthi Day
Divine Discourse on Makara Sankranthi Day
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Discourses of Sri Sathya Sai Baba
on this SBOIwebsite/group are unedited, authentic & only
sourced from the official Sai baba sites.
DISCHARGE YOUR DUTIES WITH A SENSE OF
SURRENDER TO GOD
God is love and love is God. True spiritual discipline lies in developing
love to love relationship. Dear children! Hold on to this principle of
love and demonstrate the ideal of unity.
Dear Students! Boys and Girls!
It is said Daivam manusha rupena (God incarnates in the form of a human
being). That is why human birth is considered to be highly sacred. God
incarnates in human form to redeem mankind. Do not be under the mistaken
notion that God is confined to a specific form. Divinity is not a separate
entity. It is immanent in humanity. The human form is a conglomeration of
five elements, namely, earth, water, fire, air and ether. The divine power
which makes the five elements function is referred to as the Atma. What is
the form of Atma? Many people often ask this question. In fact, it
transcends name and form.
Merely having a human form does not make one a human being; it is the
conduct and behaviour that matters. In the same manner, mere acquisition
of bookish knowledge does not make one truly educated. Such worldly
education is negative in nature. One must make a distinction between
education and educare. Whereas education is information-oriented, educare
is transformation-oriented. Education is limited to physical and mental
levels. Just as the rivers like Krishna and Godavari have their source in
the ocean, education has its roots in educare. Physical and worldly
knowledge corresponds to education. Educare is related to our inner
feelings and purity of heart. Our Maata, Paata and Baata (speech, song and
way of life) should originate from the heart. That is the essence of
educare. Even if you acquire a number of degrees, if you lack purity of
heart, you cannot be called truly educated. Nowadays very few make the
efforts to understand what educare is. Only those endowed with practical
knowledge and wisdom will be able to understand and appreciate the concept
of educare. Others will be deluded by high academic degrees. They are
interested only in acquiring bookish knowledge and disseminating the same.
Such vain pursuits will not entitle them to be called really educated. It
is common nowadays for students to acquire various academic degrees such
as B.A., M.A., C.A., Ph.D., etc. However, those who understand the real
purpose of education and its inner significance are rare. Once you
understand the purpose of education and act accordingly, your life will be
redeemed. You should not entirely depend on what your teachers teach in
the classroom. You have to understand the nature of your body, mind,
senses and intellect to be able to realise your inner self.
Every individual has three attributes, namely, sattwa, rajas and tamas.
They represent the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara. Sattwa guna
corresponds to the inner purity. Rajo guna is reflected in our actions.
However, the fundamental truth is that Atma has complete control over all
the senses and functioning of the human body. You perform various tasks.
You participate in sports and games. All these represent rajo guna. These
days people teach parartha (spiritual values) without giving up swartha
(selfishness). This is a grave error. You should give up swartha in the
first instance and consider parartha as the basis of all your endeavours.
Develop faith in God. God is the adhara (support) and everything else is
adheya (supported). Divinity is one. The Veda has therefore declared:
Ekoham bahusyam (the One willed to become many). The names and forms may
vary, but the inherent divine principle is one and the same. For example,
this hall is decorated with a number of bulbs. But the electric current
that flows through them is the same. Similarly, sweets may be many, but
the essential ingredient in them, that is sugar which imports the
sweetness is the same. Often times, we merely go by the names and forms,
forgetting the reality.
A human being should essentially have three qualities – nischalattwa,
nirmalattwa and nirmohattwa (steadiness, purity and detachment). One who
has these three qualities is verily God Himself. You do not need to
enquire from others whether you are good or otherwise. Your conscience is
the judge. You should think of God always. There have been many divine
incarnations in the past, but the inherent divine principle in all of them
is one and the same. Just as sugar assumes the form of a variety of
sweets, divinity incarnates in various forms. People worship God, sing His
glory thinking that He is present in some distant place. In fact, the
Panchabhutas (the five elements) are the very manifestations of God. Your
heart is the temple of God. Hence, fill your heart with love. One bereft
of love cannot be called a human being. Consider the five elements as
divine and put them to proper use.
Who has given you life? What is the source from which it has manifested?
Have you acquired it by some spiritual practice? No! God gives you life
and He is the one, who sustains it. He is present in every living being in
the form of Atma. Everything has originated from the Atma. Students study
a number of textbooks and acquire high academic qualifications. What is
the source of all their knowledge and learning? It is nothing but
divinity. But, man due to his delusion is unable to realise this Truth.
First and foremost, develop firm faith that God exists. When He incarnates
in the human form, He conducts Himself like a human being. Only then can
man understand divinity and the sacredness of human birth.
Educare is related to bhava (feeling), whereas education is related to
bahya (external). The education you acquire should be beneficial to
society. You should utilise your knowledge and intelligence for the
benefit of society. Keep your emotions under check. Do not fret and fume
like Durvasa who had no control over his temper. Only the one who has
complete control over himself is a true human being.
The Atma represents the oneness of all beings. Ultimately, everything
merges in the Atma.
Religions are many but goal is one.
Clothes are many but yarn is one.
Jewels are many but gold is one.
Cows are many but milk is one. (Telugu poem)
Unfortunately, today instead of visualising unity in diversity, man sees
diversity in unity. That is the cause of all his suffering. The principle
of Atma is the basis of all creation. You may forget anything but not the
Atma. The five elements that are immanent in you are nothing but the
manifestations of Atma. Merely rotating the beads of a rosary does not
constitute japa. One should transcend the worldly and physical plane of
existence. That is true japa. One who realises the source of his being is
truly human. You may study Bhagavad Gita and learn all the slokas by
heart. But that does not make you a scholar. It is enough if you are able
to put at least one sloka into practice. With the help of letters of
alphabet a,b,c,d … any number of books can be written. Hence, the letters
in the alphabet form the basis for any book, be it Ramayana, Mahabharata
or Bhagavata. Likewise, the Atma is the basis for everything. Once you
understand the principle of Atma, you would have understood everything
else. It is only to impart such knowledge that we have established
educational institutions. In our schools and colleges, character, virtues
and conduct are given utmost priority. One should have the desire to tread
the right path in life and attain God. One should accept everything as the
Will of God. When you develop purity of heart, you will be successful in
all your endeavours.
In the name of meditation, people sit cross-legged and with closed eyes.
How can such practices lead you to Divinity? When you close your eyes, you
cannot even see the person standing in front of you, leave alone seeing
God. In fact, God is present in you. A true vyakti (individual) is one who
manifests the avyakta (latent) divinity. If you understand the principle
of Atma and make sincere efforts, you can certainly experience
atmasakshatkara (realisation of the Divine). You may do japa or tapa, but
if you lack purity of heart, all your spiritual practices will prove
futile. Whatever may be the practice you undertake, you should always
focus your mind on the Atma only.
Manishi (man) is one who is endowed with manas (mind). Manishi is also
known as manava. What is the inner meaning of this term? ‘Ma’ means maya
(ignorance), ‘na’ means nasthi (without) and ‘va’ means varthinchuta (to
conduct oneself). A human being is one who overcomes maya and conducts
himself without ignorance. Education is meant to help you overcome
delusion. One who transcends the mind is a Paramahamsa (a realised soul).
We are not simply manavas (mere mortals). We are verily the embodiments of
Madhava (immortal divine principle). We should have faith in God and face
the challenges of life with courage and valour. Only then do we deserve to
be called a human being. The mind is meant to contemplate on God. One who
knows the value of a diamond will preserve it safely and make proper use
of it. Likewise, the one who realises the power of mind will not let it go
astray. One should strive to attain the state of ‘die’ mind (annihilation
of the mind). It is possible only by contemplating on God incessantly. It
is said, Mano mulam idam jagat (mind is the basis for the entire world).
If you do not control your mind and get carried away by its vagaries, what
will be your fate? It is only through mano nashana (annihilation of the
mind) can one become a Paramahamsa. Never follow the mind. The mind by
nature is highly sacred, but due to the impact of modern education it has
become unsteady like a monkey. What is the use of going through voluminous
books without understanding the nature of the mind? When you learn the
alphabet from A to Z, you should also learn the meaning of words. What is
the use of reading words without understanding their meaning? Here,
students learn the Vedas. It is said, Anantho Vai Vedah (the Vedas are
infinite). They are endowed with infinite power.
When you read the Bhagavad Gita, you should make efforts to understand its
teachings and put them into practice. Otherwise, there is little meaning
in going through the Bhagavad Gita or giving lectures on it. No benefit
accrues from merely repeating the slokas like a parrot without
understanding them. The Vedas have been handed down from generation to
generation by noble souls. They contain the eternal truths. But, in the
name of modern education, people are neglecting them. One may like it or
not, but the study of the Vedas is very essential for one and all. It is
not enough if you merely read the Vedas, you should also understand the
teachings contained therein. Man has forgotten his true Self. He is trying
to acquire education without knowing his own reality. As a result, he
reposes faith in everything else except God. You should never forget the
fundamental principle, namely, divinity.
You are able to understand and acquire worldly and secular knowledge. But
it is not easy for all to understand the inner reality. The names and
forms of individuals may appear to be different, but essentially all are
one. The innate reality is adhara and the external names and forms are
only adheyas. Knowing the adheya without understanding the adhara will
serve no purpose. Even while dealing with physical matters we should have
spiritual outlook. Hence, develop faith in God in the first instance.
Anything can be achieved with unflinching faith in God. Discharge your
duties with a sense of surrender to God. That is the essence of true
education. Education does not mean mere acquisition of bookish knowledge.
True education is beyond bookish knowledge.
Students! Embodiments of Love!
First of all, you have to realise that divinity is present everywhere. Let
all your actions be pleasing to God. You have come from God and are living
in God. All your actions should therefore be dedicated to God. When you
follow such a sacred path, you will ultimately merge in God. God is
bhavapriya not bahyapriya. He sees the feeling behind your actions. The
world is interested in bahyam (outward show), but God is interested in
your bhavam (feeling). Hence, purify your feelings in the first instance.
You ask others, “Who are you?” But have you ever enquired into yourself,
“Who am I?” True education lies in knowing the answer for this question.
What is the use of knowing about others if you don’t know your own
reality? That is not true education at all! A true spiritual aspirant is
one who understands and experiences the principle of oneness. You say,
“She is my mother”, “He is my father”, so on and so forth. Such physical
relationship is related to the mind. If you take the physical relationship
to be real, you will never understand the truth. You say, “I am Ramaiah.”
It is the name given to the body. But you are not the body. You should say
with firm conviction, “I am I.” However, when you call yourself Ramaiah,
you should act according to your name. Once you understand your reality,
you will experience everlasting bliss. Many students have gathered here.
But not all are studying the same subject. You are pursuing various
courses such B.A., M.A., M.Sc., etc. You should understand the purpose of
education. Nowadays several students aspire to go abroad after completing
their studies. They forget the very purpose of education, and are
enamoured by worldly attractions.
One should have single-minded devotion towards God. Your faith should be
total and unconditional. If your faith is unsteady with ‘bumps and jumps’,
you will be confused and will become restless. Keep your desires under
control. Limitless desires will take you away from divinity. Annihilation
of desires will lead you to the principle of unity. You should develop
virtues and lead a good life. Understand the purpose of education and act
accordingly. Only then will your birth as a human being be meaningful. One
electric bulb can provide illumination to many. Likewise, a heart filled
with love can illumine many lives. The educated people should not look
down upon the uneducated. If they are truly educated, they will treat
everyone equally and develop unity. Where there is unity, there is purity.
When we have purity, we can experience divinity. Love is the basis for
unity. Devoid of love differences are bound to crop up.
Having joined our institution if you merely acquire degrees without
developing virtues, we will not be happy. You should develop purity within
and purity outside. Only then can you earn a good name in society. People
will praise you saying, “So and so is a good boy, he minds his own
business and does not involve himself in unnecessary activities.” Such
good persons can bring about transformation in society. Being students,
you should follow the code of conduct prescribed for the state of
Brahmacharya. On the contrary, if you succumb to the vagaries of the mind
and move about without any restraint, people will call you a rowdy. When
you are good in thought, word and deed, everyone will talk high of you.
Embodiments of Love!
There is love in one and all. There is none bereft of love in this world.
Develop love. Let people speak what they want. Do not be perturbed by
criticism. If someone criticises you loudly, it goes into thin air, if he
criticises within, he will only be the one who will be affected by it. In
this manner, you should neither be elated by praise nor depressed by
criticism. If you want to attain God, there should be harmony in your
thoughts, words and deeds. It is said, Manasyekam vachasyekam, karmanyekam
mahatmanam, manasyanyath vachasyanyath, karmanyanyath duratmanam. (Those
whose thoughts, words and deeds are in perfect harmony are noble ones;
those who lack harmony of these are wicked.) It is not enough if you have
good command over language and speak eloquently about Divinity. You should
also put into practice what you speak and experience divinity. You may be
able to attract people with powerful speech, but what is the use if you do
not translate your words into action.
When Jesus was born, three Arabian kings came to see the child. Seeing the
divine effulgence of the child, the first king exclaimed, “He is the
messenger of God.” The second king said, “He is the son of God.” The third
king proclaimed, “He is verily God Himself.” All the three statements are
true. Never think that you are different from God. You should transcend
duality and understand oneness with divinity. Whatever may happen, do not
deviate from the path of oneness. You should have unwavering faith.
Install these teachings firmly in your heart and put them into practice in
your daily life. Even after you go back to your room, ruminate over what
is being taught here.
With prayer to God, you can achieve anything in life. I want you to pray.
I want you to stand united like brothers and sisters and earn a good name.
Only then will the purpose of establishing colleges here be fulfilled. I
am always with you, in you, above you, around you. Make efforts to instill
such faith and devotion in your fellow human beings. That will make Me
Today is Sankranti, which marks the commencement of Uttarayana, the
auspicious and sacred time. At least from today onwards, develop noble
feelings. Follow the sacred path. Then your future will certainly be safe
and secure. I hope I am not causing inconvenience to you by speaking at
length. When I see all of you, My heart overflows with ananda (bliss).
Happiness lies in union with God. Hence contemplate on God incessantly.
Never give scope for anxiety or worry, thinking “examinations are
approaching. How am I going to face them? Will I pass in the
examinations?” Do not give scope for despair and despondency with such
negative attitude. Have faith in God. Do your duty and face any situation
with courage. Then, the result is bound to be good. Love is everything.
Love is God. Live in love.
(Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, “Hari Bhajan Bina Sukha
Santhi Nahin …”)